tv [untitled] March 25, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
non-compliance. not much, as it happened. much as i suspected. during our time in office, we found the krezniar's radar unambiguously in violation of the treaty. as it stood on the periphery of the soviet missile field facing outward. clear violation of treaty terms. speaking of the periphery, let me add peripherally that this was a rare but important miss that for several years running our overintelligence totally missed it. even though the radar was on, it was several football fields large and on the verge, on the edge of a soviet missile field. when all this was said and done, a lot more would be said about verification than ever done because of it. my suspicions were confirmed during a white house luncheon in september 1987 with soviet foreign minister edward shevardnadze, who told president reagan after we pounded home the
point, that he too thought the radar was in clear violation of the treaty. the more we pounded this issue hard, the more he agreed with us, which kind of took the air out of our balloon, i would say. and the more we said we wanted it, the whole radar, several football fields large, removed, he again thwarted us by saying, he too wanted it removed. yet it was big and it was expensive and it was there. and he was foreign minister. and what's a fellow to do? well, what could we do in such a predicament? i guess the only thing the tough-minded, red-blooded american conservatives could possibly do. we went on with another conversation and just enjoyed our dessert then being served.
throughout the reagan administration and before came the argument that arms control was beneficial to u.s. intelligence gathering. here too, i was a bit skeptical. arms control on balance probably hurt our overall intelligence gathering. for one thing, the soviets never revealed anything they didn't want revealed. either in arms control or with the weapons systems to stay outside where we could photograph them, in clear view of our satellites. at times, they didn't want us to reveal much of anything. >> there's a wonderful episode in salt i, where ambassador gerald smith at the beginning of the salt talks, he goes and he tells the soviet counterpart or the soviet delegation that he is going to now tell the number of american missiles in a certain category and the number of soviet missiles in that category.
and before he does, the head of the soviet delegation stops and he says, "ambassador smith, can i talk to you for a minute?" the two delegations break. and he says, "ambassador smith, members of my delegation, the soviet delegation, are not cleared to hear the number of soviet missiles that are on. so you can proceed, please, at telling the number of american missiles you have. but when you tell the number of soviet missiles, please do it to me privately on that". one of those golden moments from arms control. to some degree, arms control damaged our real intelligence gathering by taking limited resources away from the military realm of appraising actual soviet capabilities to the legalistic realm of appraising soviet compliance with arcane and convoluted treaty language.
moreover, some arms control agreements closed up intelligence sources. we knew more about soviet nuclear capabilities when they tested in the atmosphere and a lot less after the test ban treaty pushed the soviet tests underground. which, ironically, spiked up the number of nuclear tests. under this treaty, which was the very pinnacle of kennedy-era idealism, the soviets increased their nuclear testing program and expanded their nuclear arsenal faster than before the treaty. happily, the intersection of arms control and intelligence gathering got amusing at times. this was most welcome since arms control was not the cheeriest of topics i've dealt with in my life. the cia, for example, got very adept at identifying soviet missile types by the kind offenses they built around a missile field. i envisioned some russian manual
of missile field fence construction that was carried around, which required ss 18s to have a different kind of fence than ss 17s. this is very important because all the missiles are in the silos. we can see the hatches, but we couldn't see what was inside of it. allow me to brag a minute now. but as satchel paige once said, "it ain't bragging if you done it". after a number of very thorough briefings, i became a true expert on soviet missile field fences. a knowledge which regretfully i have not ever been able to call upon again in the past 25 years. like all government agencies, the cia spent gobs of resources on what turned out to be marginal or useless issues.
this is endemic in government. like what were general secretaries konstantin chernenko's long term plans for the soviet economy. whereas he actually had no long- term plans for it or for anything including himself, he died shortly after taking office. something like the pope john paul i of the soviet sphere. there was a wonderful time when remember when brezhnev died, and they had a state funeral and then you had andropov and you had chernenko. carolyn, my wife, and i were very good friends with the italian ambassador at that time. we were over at his house, and he was telling us he was going to moscow for the funeral of i think it was chernenko. he really loved opera. i said to him, you're really going to the funeral?
he says yes, ken. don't you understand? i bought tickets to the entire series. [ laughter ] >> likewise, i recall many hours wasted on cia overthinking gorbachev's economic programs. like that old story of horse meat in oklahoma, the more you chew the bigger it gets, on this the more i learned, the bigger my ignorance. with growing frustration, i decided to sit down one evening and actually read an entire gorbachev speech on the economy that was recently done. initially, i figured the translation must be awfully confused. then i realized it was gorbachev who was awfully confused. he had absolutely no idea how his or any economy actually worked. here in the economic sphere at least gorbachev's record was one unblemished by success.
[ laughter ] >> while our guys were wasting their precious time and brains on peripheral or useless topics, i was consoled that their guys were, too. this happened one great day. i was in my office in the arms control agency. and the cia briefer, who was then assigned to me, came in. he was kind of a dour fellow. i heard this kind of boris karloff music playing in the background. he said, i have to shut the door and tell you something very, very serious. i said, what's that? he says, we have it on very good information that your home phone is being bugged by the kgb. i bit my cheeks to help keep from laughing because i didn't spend that much time at home. and the time i spent there was with the family. or being called back to the
office for something. but we did have two early teen daughters who were 12 and 14. you can imagine all of you. their routine in those days was go to school, rush home, get on the phone. we had one single line. and call each other and say what megan had said to susy, what billy -- how billy had looked at steven, how cheryl thought that roger was doing. all this drivel for eight hours ensuing after the school. and to think that there was a team of kgb officials with big ear phones, not only taking down all this crap, i mean all this stuff, but translating it into russian caused me great, great pleasure. [ laughter ] >> i said, do nothing about trying to intercept those. let them bug my phone.
it's quite all right. so i figure that one time when all the kgb files are opened, there'll be a kind of frozen moment of our daughters right there for all of us to go through. and who was that? remember? what did she say about roger at that time? and all that. being accurate on the large issues but sometimes wasting a lot of resources on most marginal ones, the cia missed some very big factors. though admittedly i did not think it at the time, i am now convinced that we all missed, and the cia especially missed, the huge impact of chernobyl after its april 1986 meltdown. not so much as economic impact, but its psychological and political impacts. for gorbachev the impact of such a terrifying nuclear incident led right to reykjavik and his conversion to real nuclear reductions. for the soviets, and especially the ukrainian people, the hiding, cheating, lying,
uncaring nature of their government, even under that communist with a human face, gorbachev, that was it. for him it seemed like the start of a genuine fear of these dastardly weapons. for them it became the final straw in tolerating a disgusting government and system. even under this good guy gorbachev, the kremlin denied news of the radioactive contamination for days, and urged little boys and little girls to go out as normal and play in the area, to get infected, to get deformed, and to get killed as a result. chernobyl i now believe brought on the finale of the delegitimization process that ronald reagan launched during his very first presidential press conference. second, they missed a lot in the political realm. we must be tolerant. u.s. policy officials are always asking what will be done by
someone who hasn't made up his own mind yet. or even thought about doing anything at all. this brings between a secret, something is knowable, but is now hidden, and a mystery. something simply unknowable, at least for now. it was secrets we needed to know for arms control verification, but mysteries we needed to know for arms control negotiations. what was he going to do at. 25 years ago, last month. if i could have the photos up there, you'll see a golden moment at that time. i can now, what we figured would stay a secret, became revealed when secretary of state george schultz and the rest of us heard the fact from the cia and
everybody in the system that he wouldn't do much at all. here is a scene from that sunday afternoon. you can tell clearly that i have dyed my hair since then. it's actually jet black underneath that, but i decided to keynote this i needed to have dyed hair. this is the second floor of the house where the president came up two or three times that afternoon. this is right before he goes and he decides that he's going down to talk to gorbachev for the very, very last time. the weekend was the great weekend of my life.
but i just might say that the kgb surely judged us as disinformation on the sunday afternoon of october 12, 1986, when secretary schultz looked as if he'd been kicked in the stomach at his final press conference at the international press conference and declared that the summit was a dismal failure. while at the same time, i was being interviewed by peter jennings on abc that it was a great triumph. reagan would not sacrifice sdi even for all the arms control deals we had stuck during the long night at the house. i reckon that the soviets tying the agreements was a summit bluff.
a temporary ploy that they wouldn't long continue. they would go back to what we had done, and a few months later they did. we proceeded full steam ahead on the intermediate nuclear force. it was signed by ronald reagan in the east room in december of 1987. the previous march i had told the president if we could possibly get an agreement done, i would leave right after having accomplished all and even more than we ever set out to do in the seven years i was with the reagan administration. two days after gorbachev parted from washington, i parted from my grand office which was previously occupied by secretaries of state edison -- besides missing the importance of chernobyl, the cia missed opportunities the whole intelligence community again understandably focused on threats to the nation, and never
on opportunities for the nation. the reports were confined to elements which did or could endanger us. and not ever what did or could advance us. a final thought on the cia's appraisal of soviet defense spend ing my weeks of pouring through the mountains of documents on this, the ultimate intelligence secret of the 1980s, may have rattled my brain. as i've come to a very peculiar thought. this the uber secret of how much the soviet leadership spent on its military may have actually been a mystery to the soviet union itself. maybe no one knew. not gorbachev, who in 1990 publically said defense spending was 40 billion rubles. his top assistant put it at 120 billion rubles.
the foreign minister said it was 117 billion rubles. the defense minister said it was 132 billion rubles. sounds a lot like the estimates a fellow was hearing of the number of turkish ships, but in this case from the turkish leaders themselves. maybe something even we know for sure, like that there's a real distinction between a secret and a mystery, is itself untrue. intelligence is awfully tough. there's a great scene in a movie "the lion in winter" where the king admonishes everyone just face the facts, and the queen replied, which ones, there's just so many of them. because intelligence is so tough, those who dedicate their lives to serving the nation and the intelligence realm deserve our highest admiration and respect.
samuel goldwin once said, allow me a few words before i begin to speak. please, i ask you, allow me a few words before i end my speaking. that is to tell you one final story about reykjavik, that great weekend. and it happened ten years after. the iceland government had asked members of the delegation of the united states and soviet union to come back ten years later in october of 1996 and talk about everything that had gone on at the summit right there. i readily accepted, went to reykjavik and was just amazed at the explosion of emotion i felt going through that room and seeing what we had done in the afternoon.
going through sitting in the bubble where we had briefed the president, going over to the ambassador's house where the president had stayed and we had lunch with them and then dinner. and going through the places at reykjavik, i just was so moved that i went into a drugstore. i got a nice postcard of the house where we had negotiated all night saturday night from 8:00 at night until 6:20 in the morning. and knowing that president reagan was then in the darkness of alzheimer's, he had written that wonderful letter that we see here in the library in november of 1994 and this was about two years later in 1996. still i wanted to write him a postcard.
so i addressed it, i didn't have an address or anything, i addressed it president ronald reagan, los angeles, california, usa. and i got some stamps and i mailed it. a week later, i was here at the library, and i saw mrs. reagan. i went over to her, i said, mrs. reagan, i was in reykjavik last week, and i wrote your husband a postcard. she looked at me like i was a little crazy. she said, you did? i said, yes. it was just such an emotional thing being there ten years after the summit. and she said, what did you say in your postcard? i said, mr. president, i'm back here at reykjavik ten years later, reliving the experience, and was just amazed to think back at what a sensational job you had done 12 years earlier on behalf of the country and how
exceptionally proud i was to have served you then. sincerely, ken adelman. and i mailed it. i didn't know nancy reagan very well. she looked at me, and she started to cry a little bit. i started to do the same. then i thought, what a great honor it was in the seven years i was in the reagan administration, every time i walked into the white house, i had a chill in the back -- the hair on the back of my neck stood up. i felt, what an honor it is, what a privilege to serve this great country. and i looked at mrs. reagan and we were both moistened up there, and i said to her, boy, we were just lucky to have him, weren't
we? she certainly agreed. since that time 15 years ago, it's no secret that ronald reagan was really a great president. it remains, however, a mystery where the music came from, that this fellow went and marched to a different drummer than everybody else at the time. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> wow, thank you, ken. now it is my pleasure. i want to say thanks to ken. he has to duck out here in a few minutes. we appreciate his time spent with us. now, it's my pleasure to introduce the deputy director for intelligence for analytic programs at the cia. peter clement joined the agency in 1977 and spent much of his first 25 years focused on the soviet union.
he later was a president's daily briefer for then vice president cheney as well as nsc adviser rice, and subsequently served as the dci's representative to the u.s. mission united nations before assuming his current duties. he holds a ph.d. in russian history and an m.a. in european university. he's also an author. adjunct professor for many universities. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome peter clement. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, duke. it's a pleasure to be here. it's always a delight to find a lot of people who share a common love and interest in history. i'm a big history fan, and i'm especially glad to be here today to introduce our featured speaker. there's a biography of mr. oleg kalugin in your program. on page 66 chlt
i'm not going to walk through his curriculum vitae, i would rather tell you a short anecdote on my perspective of him. as you probably deduced, he's one of the rare individuals we don't get to see very much of because he was a member of the kgb, a very senior member of the kgb. when i was an analyst back in the '80s during the reagan years, looking at soviet foreign policy,one of my tasks in my various accounts was to figure out, why was it that the soviets do what they do? what are the real policy intentions? what motivates them to do the various things they're doing, say, in the third world. why are they in cuba or mozambique or ethiopia? i decided i really needed to get
to the bottom of this, how do you get into people's minds. how do you find out what motivates them? in the course of my research, i discovered that actually, many of these soviet leaders got a lot of their information from the kgb, not only for managing domestic affairs, because one of their main functions was -- it is the committee for state security, it's security domestically, but they had a foreign intelligence arm called the first chief directorate. that provided the bureau a good deal of their knowledge and insight into what was going on in the rest of the world. it occurred to a lot of us who were working on foreign policy accounts, to understand a little bit about why soviet leaders made the decisions they made, you better understand how the kgb operates, how it collects information and how that information is presented to the senior leadership. i'm going to stop there, i want to know the answer to that question. our featured speaker, mr. oleg kalugin. if you would come to the stage now, sir. thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> good afternoon, everyone. it's a pleasure and an honor to be a guest at the cia sponsored conference. in the old days, that was archenemy, and i was involved heavily in fighting and trying to penetrate the organization. we did a good job before the cia popped up on the public arena, or -- let me give you some figures, which are not generally known. before 1953, the soviet
intelligence handled over 300 assets inside the united states. and every single sphere of public science -- you name it. had henry wallace become president of the united states, we would have secretary of state, our main source alger hiss, we had wonderful access to the manhattan project. i mean, the research and development of the atomic weapons. we had 12 sources inside the manhattan project. well, what was good -- well, we did have a lot of stuff in that sense. and ct
world war ii. i'm just -- i cannot just forget one of the episodes in my career as a young officer in the kgb. well, i was at that time a radio moscow correspondent at the united nations, the first one was a fullbrite scholar, where i recruited my first agent with access to information. it was accidental. it propelled my career. and as i came to new york again, i was told by my superiors in moscow to try to revive good working relationship with one of the senior american journalists.
really a top guy in the media and in the united states. he used to serve in moscow before world war ii, and he was at that time contacted by -- it was called russian secret services. and he told them at that time, on june 15th of 1941, that germans are going to attack russia on june 22nd. it was immediately reported by the kgb, domestic service to stalin. stalin read the message and said, he must be expelled, we are friends with germany. and the next day, the guy was declared persona non grata. kicked out from the soviet union.